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Marc Saperstein

Rabbi Hugo Gryn was both the leading rabbinic figure of British Reform Judaism for several decades and one of the best-known and highly admired rabbis in British society. The sermons he delivered regularly throughout the entire period of his leadership as Rabbi of the West London Synagogue show that preaching was a significant component of his rabbinic role. Most of the extant texts of Gryn's sermons are not fully written, but rather detailed outlines on cards. They suggest a communication that reached its final formulation only as the preacher faced his listeners, depending on the delivery for much of its power. Almost all are rooted in the weekly Torah reading, exploring a biblical passage in its own context before applying it to an issue of contemporary significance. Many draw not only from his wide reading but also from his own personal experience, as Holocaust survivor, young rabbi in India, community leader deeply involved in interfaith dialogue. The present article uses the extant texts to recapture something of the impact of the sermons, and concludes with one fully written text given at a public tribute to the memory of Gryn's teacher, Rabbi Leo Baeck.

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Marc Saperstein

This paper is divided into three sections illustrating uses of the Book of Leviticus in three different contexts: Internal Jewish Issues, Jewish-Christian Relations and Social Justice.

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John Rayner as Preacher

The Sermon in Response to Historical Events

Marc Saperstein

John Rayner certainly believed that delivering regularly a carefully prepared sermon was an integral and important component of the rabbi's role. The evidence is in his more than 1,000 sermon texts that serve as an important historical source for Liberal Judaism in the U.K. Rayner helped future scholars by preparing a detailed listing of all his sermons, from 21 June 1953 ('Ordination') to number 1,137, on 5 October 2003 (Kol Nidre: 'The People's Self-Righteousness'), including topical indices at the end. After describing more fully this unique resource, I will focus on some of his topical sermons, especially those not published in A Jewish Understanding of the World. These include thoughtful and courageous analyses of moral issues raised by the British role in the 1956 Suez campaign, near the beginning of his career, and in the Falklands War of spring 1982, and many powerful sermons on Israel in times of crisis. The texts reveal a Jewish leader with prophetic courage — though expressed always with love for the Jewish tradition, the Jewish people and the universalist dimension of Jewish values — combined with profound knowledge and penetrating intellect, expressed with clarity and directness that speaks both to the mind and to the heart.

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Weapons for Witnessing

American Street Preaching and the Rhythms of War

Kyle Byron

to be punished. Here's the question I have for you … The woman who had unintentionally inspired the preacher's sermon on justice had since crossed the street and disappeared into The Cheesecake Factory. … are your sins going to be punished in

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Marc Saperstein

Joseph Krauskopf immigrated from his native Prussia to the United States at the age of fourteen, and was ordained with the first class of students at the newly established Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Quickly establishing a reputation for his spellbinding oratory, he became rabbi of Knesseth Israel in Philadelphia, one of the largest Reform congregations in the United States, with a membership composed predominantly of congregants with German background. Although he was a strong supporter of US military action during the Spanish-American War, the First World War caused him considerable anguish, as he remained attached to his roots in German culture throughout his career. In a series of Sunday morning discourses and holiday sermons beginning on Rosh Hashanah 1914, Krauskopf expressed horror at the widespread suffering caused by the war, strongly supported the initial US policy of neutrality, and vehemently criticized expressions of growing support for the Entente Cordiale. While upholding the US war effort after America's entry into combat, as the end drew near he continued to excoriate policies that would humiliate and impoverish Germany, with prescient warnings of future disasters.

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Melissa Raphael, Dorothea Magonet, and Frank Dabba Smith

the Afterword: ‘I made one more tapestry. I called it Loss. But I could have called it “radical acceptance” or even tranquillity … ’ (p. 76). Review Essay Marc Saperstein, Agony in the Pulpit: Jewish Preaching in Response to Nazi Persecution

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Christian Interpretation of Kohelet [Ecclesiastes]

Three Examples from History and the Present

Elisabeth Birnbaum

a personal faith conviction in the biblical sense. From the point of view of the New Testament, it is thus possible to see only indirectly the suitability of the Preacher's Book’. 1 The criterion is the image of God in the New Testament. The

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Conceptualizing Compassion in Communication for Communication

Emotional Experience in Islamic Sermons (Bengali waʿẓ maḥfils)

Max Stille

are common genre distinctions relating to spatial setup, codes of conduct, and most importantly, ways of narration and persuasion. In one congregation, several preachers speak one after the other. They sit down, together with guests of honor and their

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Islam and Pious Sociality

The Ethics of Hierarchy in the Tablighi Jamaat in Pakistan

Arsalan Khan

, not only for the dramatic growth that it has experienced in recent decades, but also due to the zealous commitment of its practitioners to their own distinct form of face-to-face preaching ( dawat ). Tablighis can be seen traveling through Pakistan

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Expanding Religion and Islamic Morality in Turkey

The Role of the Diyanet’s Women Preachers

Chiara Maritato

Despite scholars’ tremendous interest in the dynamics of Turkish laicism, little to no attention has been paid to the actors and the practices through which Islamic morality is propagated among society every day. This article investigates the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet)’s policy that has been increasing the number of women working as preachers since 2003. To what extent and how does the employment of the Diyanet’s women preachers affect the way in which religion and Islamic public morality grow and are spread in Turkey today? What specifically is women’s contribution in this respect? Drawing on an ethnographic observation of the Diyanet’s women preachers’ activities in Istanbul mosques, the article outlines how they contribute to reshaping Turkish laicism while diffusing Islamic morality in the public space.